Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve's Barataria Preseve was the location for this shot today. It was cool for a May day, and not one mosquito. The walk was a real pleasure -- leisurely with plenty to stop you along the way, including more than a dozen gators sunning in the bayou -- actually it is a canal not a bayou, cut for access back in early days and later used by loggers to float logs to the mill.
It was interesting to think that somewhere in these swamps and marshes, Jean Lafitte, the pirate turned patriot turned patriot, hid with his men and smuggled goods into the young country of the USA.
The gators were having fun soaking up the sun and waiting for food to wander by. One of them laid perfectly still and suddenly lurched forward and snapped what looked like a small snake. It makes you take a step back to see that kind of motion in the bayou that nearby.
This shot is of a alligator about 5 feet long. The largest we saw was probably 7 to 8 feet. There were quite a few baby ones, including a little guy about a foot and a half long in the shallow shady water.
The Jean Lafitte Historical Park has six sites, this Preserve is on the West Bank, South of New Orleans.
-- steve buser